Godawari feels a little colder than my home. The fresh air here is vastly different from that in my hometown, and one can truly sense the freshness. The people here are fortunate, but for how many more years? The land has been prepared for building numerous new houses. It took one hour to reach Godawari from my home, using three microbuses on the early morning of November 9, 2023.
This marked my first hiking experience with these individuals. I am familiar with half of them, while the other half I met for the first time that day. Traveling with new companions was enjoyable. Basanta Shrestha, who is retired, represented ICIMOD. Dr. Dinesh Lal Shrestha and Shankar Chauhan, both retired, were from UNHCR. Sachin Thapa, hailing from Hong Kong, and I represented Gapsco. I forgot to inquire about Devraj Limbu. I am the youngest member in the group.
How did this happen?
During our meeting, Basanta expressed, ‘Next time in your hike, please count me.’ In response, I suggested, ‘Why wait until next time? Let’s plan a hike for this coming Thursday, the 9th of November 2023.’ Excited about the idea, I shared this plan with Dinesh. Without any hesitation, he agreed and added, ‘I’ll bring my friends too.’
Godawari, Chapakharka and Lakhuri Bhanjyang
All of us gathered at Godawari, greeted and introduced each other, and began our journey. It was my plan to hike from Godawari to Suryabinayak. A decade earlier, I used the same route, wondering if it remained unchanged. So, I took the liberty of excusing myself, stating that I am the youngest member, and if we got lost, please don’t mind. Sometimes, being the youngest member has its advantages for making such excuses.
We commenced our hike on a gravel route. Basanta and Shankar, after 15-16 years, were hiking again. After a while, we transitioned to a hiking trail inside the jungle. Basanta, Dinesh, and Shankar shared their work experiences, while Devraj shared information about the Bahamas, and Sachin, the Hong Kong returnee, discussed his job experiences in Hong Kong. When Devraj shared information about the Bahamas, Dinesh followed up with an interesting story about his boss’s visit to the Bahamas, cracking a joke about “Bahamas in Trikini.“
“What was that?” we all asked Dinesh, who promised to share during lunch. Puzzled, we continued our journey, contemplating the mystery of “trikini.“
Amidst laughter and engaging conversations, we reached Chapakharkha, ordered boiled eggs and a cup of tea. Dinesh graciously paid the bills, and we proceeded towards Lakhuri Bhanjyang with Basanta leading the team. The boiled egg seemed to have given him extra stamina. Sachin, the Hong Kong returnee, was excitedly capturing pictures of the natural landscapes.
After a four-hour walk from Godawari, we finally reached Lakuri Bhanjyang. With hungry stomachs and no proper breakfast, we entered the restaurant “Meri Junkiri Gaule Bhancha Ghar.” We ordered Dal Bhat with local chicken. While waiting for lunch, we enjoyed beer, tongba, and a few snacks.
Bahamas in Trikini
All of us raised the question, “Okay, now tell us, what ‘Bahamas in Trikini’ means?” We observed a serial killer-type smile on Dinesh’s face. He then questioned us, ‘What is a bikini?‘ Well, we all know, so there’s no need to describe. Similar to a bikini, for men, it’s wearing a hat, goggles, and flip-flops on an island or beach. That’s it. And all of us burst into laughter.”
On The Way To Lamatar
After almost three hours, we left Lakuri Bhanjyang and headed towards Lamatar. With full stomachs from delicious food, the road from Lakuri to Lamatar was wide, easy, and boring, with only a very few hiking routes. We reached Lamatar after walking for 45 minutes, had a cup of tea (the last for the road), and caught the last local bus.
Bring Back Your Trash
The hiking route remains a neat and clean place. But the picnic and camping spot was dirty. I humbly request all the individuals, “Please bring back your trash. You don’t need to clean this place. Simply carry your trash back with you when you leave. If everyone takes responsibility for their waste, we won’t need to worry about garbage.”